A Foul Brew

Here’s a bit of an instructional graphic I cobbled up for the cranberry-drinking one for his upcoming brilliant tome. However, it’s not quite to the style needed for what we’re working on, and although we both liked it, it isn’t going in the final product.

It’s too good to waste, though, so I offer it here. In this digital age, nothing is wasted.

And the boss really did like the style, but not as much as something even better I made for his book. It’s gonna be brilliant. But, in the meantime:

A foul brew, indeed.

A foul brew, indeed.

These are some of the “ingredients” to the foul brew that is thought control, also known as undue influence, exploitive persuasion, or, simply, manipulation.

Demand for purity – “you’ve got to be completely perfect” (and the group defines ‘perfect’, of course)

Sacred Science – you can’t question the doctrine – it’s beyond reason, because it’s sacred. And it’s also completely accurate; when in doubt, it’s the scientists who are in error.

Mystical Imperative – The group wants you to know that you are on the the *right* path with them, and that they have the only *correct* interpretation of the scriptures /the meaning of life.

Powerlessness – without the group, you are powerless; you need their instruction to survive. Or so they want you to think.

Loaded Language – all groups have some jargon, but an abusive group will make it impossible for outsiders to understand you – and for you to think about your group except in the language *they* give you to think about it.

Dislocation – not necessary, but times of transition are excellent “recruiting points” to pick up new members. Some groups deliberately recruit at college campuses, or in social clubs for recently divorced or bereaved singles.

Confession – a cult will use the “good feeling” of getting your woes out to a sympathetic ear. You think you’ve got a soft shoulder; you’re giving a list of transgressions and weaknesses to be exploited later.

Groupthink – we tend to cluster together, to do as the flock does, to clump with the rest of the gang. This was a good idea back on the Savannah – it might not be the best idea today.

Authority – that man in the white coat commands a lot more respect than we think we’re giving him. Experts are everywhere.

Ideology over Experience – the group doesn’t want you to believe your own eyes and ears, especially when your own experiences don’t match up with what you’ve been told is true.

Doctrine over Person – sometimes, when the stakes are high, sacrifice becomes necessary. After all, what’s one human life when your group is going to be saving the world?

Dispensing of Existence – once it’s clear that we might need to break a few eggs to make the cosmic omelette, anyone who isn’t with us is against us. And anyone against us needs to be eliminated…

A foul brew, indeed.

As always, share and enjoy.

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